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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
You can find much of this information in other threads and throughout the web, however, my experience was very difficult because I found some of the information confusing and at times in conflict with other information, so I thought I'd summarize all my learnings here for other people to benefit.


Purpose:

What I will walkthrough is how to add a Smart Key (a used one) to a car with a Smart Key System (aka SKS), which is a car that doesn't have a traditional ignition key (you push a "Start" button instead)

My total cost was under $100 CDN to have my Smart Key ($50 for the key, $20 for the software/cable, and $15 for the SEED code).



Background Information: (skip if you're already familiar with the components)

Briefly speaking, the evolution of the ignition component of a car went from a physical key alone, to a physical key with a security chip (the rubber head keys) to completely keyless ignitions (referred to as a "Smart Key").

While the intention was to increase security and decrease car theft, the natural consequence is that it makes it more difficult for owners to get duplicate keys. At first you could simply get your key cut as that's all there was to it with a straight physical key (this is how it is in my 1998 Mazda Protege, duplicate key cost $3 total). However, things started to get complicated with the security chips. You could sometimes buy a key and pair it to your car if you happened to know a set of "special/secret" steps to follow that would put the car into "programming mode" (this is what most internet searches will yield). You do not want to confuse that procedure with what needs to be for done Smart Keys, which is completely different. While the keys themselves are a similar concept, the steps are still referring to a physical key. In order to add a "Smart Key", you have to use specialized software connected to the car and depending on its status (new or used), different steps need to be followed.

I am not an expert when it comes to the security components, but I will do my best to detail them here:

About Smart Keys
(source link, requires free registration for full article, I've attached it as well under this post)

"...one of the things a Smart Key broadcasts its unique Key ID code, which is burned into its memory at the factory. The other is the Vehicle ID code, which is obtained from the car and burned to the Smart Key during the registration process. Just as a key blank is cut to work with a particular vehicle, the key registration process also alters the Smart Key to “fit” the “lock”."

A new Smart Key will come with the Vehicle ID blank. A used Smart Key will already have a Vehicle ID, which complicates the registration process as the Techstream procedure is expecting new keys only (and does not provide an option to erase an existing Vehicle ID). There is a way around this, but it requires a "Smart Code Reset" and a special, one-time use passcode (I will walkthrough this later).

About the ECUs
There are a number of Engine Control Units (ECUs) inside your car. One or more of them will deal with the security and "Smart Key" component. Your car's ECU must be programmed to accept the Smart Key's ID.



Requirements:

-Mini VCI Cable (USB on one end, OBD2 on the other - can be found on eBay; search for Techstream, Mini VCI, or MVCI)
-Techstream software (I used 9.30.002, as of this writing, 10.10.018 appears to be the latest)
-PC/laptop with Windows XP 32-bit (Windows 7 64-bit can be used but I did not resort to this, here is a post on how to get it working)
-Java (can't recall if there was a specific version)
-Smart Key with matching Circuit Board # (new or used, Circuit Board # is NOT the same thing as the FCC ID#)
-SEED Code (only required for used Smart Keys, to be obtained while performing programming, its a variable code)
There are online services that can provide you with such a code, at a price. The cheapest I found was @ www.Pin-Online.net (was $15 USD, now shows as $11) or www.weboctopus.nl (25EUR for 5 codes).

About the Circuit Board# IMPORTANT!
In order to determine whether a Smart Key will be compatible with your car or not, you must match the Circuit Board # (e.g. 271451-0140) which is listed INSIDE the Smart Key.

Sellers that know what they're selling will mention it in their ad. However, my experience was that most people listed the FCC# (e.g. HYQ14AAB) (which is listed on the outside of the Smart Key). The FCC#, while useful, is not an absolute way of knowing whether the Smart Key will be fully compatible or not. There are cases where the FCC# matches yet the Smart Key still won't pair with the car. You can read more about the labelling standards in my post here and a picture of what I'm talking about here.



The good news is that you could find a compatible Smart Key with your circuit board #, that doesn't look like your existing Smart Key or belong to your (Toyota-family) manufacturer (meaning a bigger pool of potential candidates). The bad news is that finding it can be very difficult. Generally speaking, the last digits of the circuit board # (after the dash) need to match and doing searches with multiple mixtures of "keyfob", "smart key", "0140" (the board# I needed, yours may be different), "HYQ14AAB" or "14AAB" (while the FCC ID# is not an absolute indication of compatibility, it helps narrow the search...you can always ask sellers for the board# inside as a follow-up question, assuming its not listed), "prox", "key", "remote", "keyless", "fob". I typically did 2 terms at a time and reviewed the results. It was a long process.

I live in Canada (Toronto). A New Smart Key at the dealership was ~$360. New Smart Keys online were ~$150. Used Smart Keys on eBay were ~$85 (after shipping and import fees). I ended up finding my key on Kijiji for $50 a few towns over (had it shipped). It belonged to a 2008 Lexus IS250 while my car was a 2010 Toyota RAV4.

Best of luck!



Checklist:

Smart Key: The circuit board # inside the to-be-programmed Smart Key matches your existing key(s).
Techstream: You should be able to run the program without an error appearing. There is typically a manual step to have the program launch properly (modify IT3System.ini, "TISFunction = 1" to "TISFunction = 0")
MVCI Cable: When you plug it into your PC, you should hear the iconic "ding" sound. If you don't, it would suggest a lose connection (I experienced this and had to open up my cable to get it working). You should also launch the "XHorse Firmware Update Tool" (it comes with the cable's drivers) and click "Device Info", which will confirm whether it can communicate with the cable or not (for this check, it does not need to be plugged into the car, only to your PC)





Procedure:

Once you have everything ready to go, start your car and launch Techstream. Leave the driver's door OPEN for the entire duration.

Click "Connect to Vehicle"
Note: As the procedure I'm running through takes about 20 minutes total, its recommended to have the car running to ensure the battery doesn't drain out. If you can't start the car, its mentioned in other bulletins to have the car hooked up to a backup battery

Techstream should automatically detect your car (mine was a 2010 RAV4, ignore the details in the image, its just for reference), except for an option or two (I had to indicate "/w Smart Key" functionality and that my car was "2WD")





After a while, you will arrive at the System Select page. I suggest you copy-paste your VIN# to Windows notepad so that you have it handy later (applicable for used Smart Key registration only)





All of the ECUs will be yellow. You can click "Health Check" to have Techstream go through each of the ECUs and determine its status, which takes a few minutes and will change their colour. If you decide to skip the "Health Check", you can still click on the individual ECU you're looking for and it will read only that specific ECU (you'll be waiting a few seconds instead of minutes, its basically the same as the "Health Check", but only for that ECU).





The ECU I needed was labelled "Smart Key" (2010 RAV4, if your vehicle differs, so may your options)





Once in there, select "Utility" on the left-hand side and you will arrive at this screen.





NEW SMART KEY
Now, if you had a NEW Smart Key, the process is relatively straight forward. You can simply click on the "Smart Code Registration" option, which there are 2 of. Both options work, the Classic is older and has less explanations, while the new one has more text and is more user-friendly.

The steps basically consist of; 1.) only have 1 Smart Key in the car at a time, 2.) first start with the Master Key (existing key) and tap it on the ignition button, 3.) remove the key (more than 1 meter from the car) and bring the NEW Smart Key inside, tap it on the ignition button. 4.) Place the NEW Smart Key on the passenger seat until prompted otherwise. 5.) Done.

All of the steps need to be done within 30 seconds of each other, as indicated on the screen (there will be a counter counting down).

USED SMART KEY
The only option that appears to work is the "Smart Code Reset" function. I tried a number of different things (see my earlier post) but I couldn't get the used Smart Key to register under any of them except this one (which requires a SEED code, $)

Within the "Smart Code Reset" function, you will arrive at this screen.







You can click on the "Get Pass-Code" button, which will take you to another screen that allows you to copy the 96-digit SEED code (the first one doesn't seem to let you copy, despite being able to click on it).
IMPORTANT! Do not close the Techstream window that has the SEED code displayed (the first one). Techstream generates a new SEED code every time you enter the function, so if you close out of it, you lose that session. If you re-enter it, a new SEED code will be supplied and any SEED passcode you received from a calculator will be useless (you can't re-open a previous session).

NOTE: While you may read in Techstream that its recommended to avoid having wireless devices such are cell phones or your PC's WiFi on when registering Smart Keys, I had my laptop with WiFi turned on for the entire process and didn't encounter any issues or interference. With respect to supplying a calculator with your VIN# and SEED code, I would highly recommended that you do all of it through copy-paste instead of manually typing. This would help you avoid any unintentional typos (as that would end up costing you money for a new SEED passcode).

You now need to go to one of those "calculator" websites I mentioned (www.Pin-Online.net (was $15 USD) or www.weboctopus.nl (25EUR for 5 codes) and paste your VIN# and SEED number. When I used weboctopus.nl, the 6-digit passcode was generated instantly.
Reminder #1: Do not close the Techstream window that has the SEED code displayed (the first one).

You can then go back into Techstream and paste the code in.
Reminder #2: Remember to leave the driver's side door OPEN. Do not close it as it will interrupt the reset procedure. If the function fails for whatever reason, DO NOT CLOSE THE DRIVER'S DOOR. You may still be able to try again or carry through with the remaining steps successfully (other post's have reported so).





You will then arrive at this screen, where you simply wait for 16 minutes.





I suggest you stay nearby (I was playing a game on my phone) and set an alarm a minute before you expect the timer to end and avoid touching or moving anything (I left the laptop on the car seat and sat on the ground outside, most specifically because my particular cable was defective and had a loose connection, so I wanted to avoid any movement that may risk losing the connection).

Once the timer ends, it will tell you the procedure is complete (successfully)... but you're not done yet!

In order to register your keys, you now need to select one of the other options (I chose "Smart Code Registration (Classic)").
Note #1: Previously, if you used this function, you'd choose the first option ("I am just registering keys") but it would fail if you were trying to register a used Smart Key. Now you will select the third option instead.
Note #2: In case you're curious, choosing the third option before performing the "Smart Code Reset" will simply result in an error before you even get to load the function. It will produce a message to the effect of "Cannot initialize, reset function not detected".


(ignore the locksmith bit, I couldn't find a better picture but will try to upload another one, with the correct option selected)



Here, you will select the third and longest option "I am Registering keys and have replaced the ID Code Box and Smart ECU or have performed Smart Code Reset"

When you hit next, you will be asked to eventually tap the key on the ignition button. It has been recommended by other users that the USED key be tapped first and any existing (previously linked) keys to be tapped last.

After this is done, you can click "Register" to finalize the session.



Ending Comments:

The end of the process was somewhat lacking in celebration. I wasn't expecting the program to serve me champagne, but I expected there to be something more or another way to test the Smart Keys were accepted (before turning off the car or closing the driver's side door and being surprised later) but I didn't encounter anything.

What you can do as a brief check is to use the "Communication Check (Key Diag Mode)" option. I checked with the rear oscillator to see that the key is communicating properly (it will beep if so). Before the sync, the used Smart Key did not produce a beep from the car at all when in proximity of the selected oscillator. Once it was paired, it DID produce a beep when you took the key near the rear oscillator. You could select any oscillator but the rear one is the furthest one away from the driver, so I used that one to avoid any confusion with my existing key.

I hope this was helpful.


My (various) sources:

-Post from doctorman, brief walkthrough of my edited OP
-Toyota Technical Services Bulletin regarding Smart Code Reset function.
-Performance Technician article on Smart Keys, Part 1
(requires free registration for full article, or get from my post on Smart Keys as its attached to that post as well)
-Performance Technician article on Smart Keys, Part 2
(requires free registration for full article, or get from my post on Smart Keys as its attached to that post as well)
-My post in this thread about Smart Keys
-Toyota's TIS "Known Bugs" page regarding Techstream and Java.
-Memo regarding FCC and IC Labelling Standards
-My post in this thread summarizing the relevant information from the memo regarding FCC and IC labelling standards.
-My post in another thread about Techstream options that failed with respect to pairing a used Smart Key.
-eBay listing regarding calculator (where I found www.pin-online.net)
-Another post similar to doctorman's, walking through process briefly
-jmkinny's post on importance of matching circuit board #s

...I'm sure there is more links, but I cannot recall them as I didn't track them while I did my research. The above should be the bulk of them. My thanks to all the brave pioneers who did this before me.


Edit: I have also added an attachment to this post. Its a guide that pretty much walks you through the entire process, except it was intended for a "Passcode Generator" you can buy from eBay (its too expensive for one-time use). Anywho, the guide actually seemed really great so I thought I'd add it to this post for extra reference, in case my own instructions below are not clear or not enough.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Original Post:
(for reference only, so that the earlier thread posts make sense...I updated my OP on June 4th, so any posts after that date likely correspond to the edited OP)

I know this subject appears multiple times but I have to admit its a very confusing subject with a number of caveats that aren't exactly clear.

I have a 2010 RAV4 Limited and recently forgot the Smart Key on our roof as I drove away (my wife was in the car with the second set). Skipping the venting, I'm trying to understand how I can go about replacing this. Here's what I've learned so far (please correct me wherever possible):

Smart Keys
While housed in 1 piece of plastic, there are 3 components total:

1.) The "Remote Entry" allows you to lock/unlock your car doors and set the horn on "party mode" (aka Panic). Referred to as the "Keyfob"
2.) The physical "Emergency Key", which is the "Local Entry" version, allowing you to lock/unlock your car doors.
3.) The "Ignition Key" component which is what allows you to start/stop the car. The "Immobilizer" is a security feature that prevents unauthorized access to the ignition.

So in order to replace my key, I have to solve for the inverse root of Pi and replace at least #1 and #3?

The Options

A.) Pay the dealership.
This was quoted at ~$400. I called 2 local dealerships (I'm in the GTA) and was quoted 2 different prices, with the second dealership referring me to an agent (which I had previously found online).

B.) Pay an agent / locksmith
This was quoted at $250 but I've only found 1 so far. I was told it was an OEM part and would have 6 months of warranty. Any referrals in the GTA would be much appreciated.
Edit: After a number of calls, the cheapest I could find was $180 and $200.

C.) Partial DIY
I see that I can buy the Smart Key online for about $110 and bring it to a dealership or agent/locksmith to have it programmed into the car. I was quoted $50 by the dealership. Any referrals to purchasing OEM Smart Keys online would be much appreciated.
Edit: This option can be very highly "YMMV" as each dealership's policy may differ regarding used keys (some may do it, some may do it but fail, and others may opt not to do it at all)

D.) Full DIY
If you have a laptop, Techstream software, a connecting cable, and the Smart Key, you can DIY. Its unclear whether the "Ignition Key" portion can be DIY with Techstream (someone please clarify). If you cannot, this seems to defeat the benefit and would seem more beneficial to pursue the Partial DIY option above.
Edit: Confirmed possible, hence my edited OP. Requires a SEED code calculator which is another $15 for 1 code.

The Techstream software is referred to as $30 on these forums but I don't know where to buy this from. The website for Techstream shows a subscription model with varying options. I've looked at few posts in the forums but overall am lost on the full DIY option.
Edit: Can be found on eBay, simply search "Techstream", "Mini VCI", or "MVCI" and you should find some results.

E.) Ski-Mask Approach
According to this article/post, all this can be avoided for the low low price of $17. (joking)

TL,DR
I'm in the GTA and trying to not spend hundreds of dollars to replace a Smart Key. I'm not afraid of DIY but am having difficulty piecing together what's possible and what's not. If you can help/clarify with the above, please do.
 

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E.) Ski-Mask Approach
According to this article/post, all this can be avoided for the low low price of $17. Details on how to DIY?
That would only work at home with your key. It just extends the range. Issue being that if you have street parking, the range could be extended into your home and let the thief drive off. But they wouldn't be able to start it again that way once they got it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That would only work at home with your key. It just extends the range. Issue being that if you have street parking, the range could be extended into your home and let the thief drive off. But they wouldn't be able to start it again that way once they got it.
That last option was meant more tongue-in-cheek, but thank you for clarifying anyhow.
 

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My understanding is that with the Rav4 the key is essentially inert and is programmed to the CPU in the car so if the key teeth are the same it can be programmed to another Rav4 with the "H" key. Chrysler on the other hand programs the key to the vehicle and it cannot be used on another vehicle.

Frank 2015 Rav4 XLE with 3600 miles
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here's a current ebay link for the techstream cable and software.
V10 0 028 Mini VCI Diagnostic Tool Cable Scanner for Lexus Toyota Tis Techstream | eBay


Not sure if it's possible to program a smart key from another car or not with techstream. Here's a thread to read.
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/96-4-3-general/92843-adding-extra-key-using-techstream.html
Thanks.

According to the eBay listing:
Q5: with this kit, can I program smart keys for my car?
A5: No, this kit can not program smart keys.
 

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I missed the fact you mentioned "smart key" so I am not sure about that. My note only applies to the regular key FOB for remote control of doors and the ignition. I do know that there is a special restricted version of Techstream that allows smart key programming. Only dealers and some bonded locksmiths have access to that version.

Frank
 

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I just had a spare smart key made recently. I got key fob ($179) and programming ($45) done at dealer. Then ordered emergency key from Toycut - ovnisf Keys that member, Shar Pei Puppy, told me about for $17. The emergency key arrived today and works.
 

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Check previous threads on this topic.

Techstream definitely will program a SmartKey, I've done it and so have others here.

I got the SmartKey on eBay and got the emergency key cut at a locksmith.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Check previous threads on this topic.

Techstream definitely will program a SmartKey, I've done it and so have others here.

I got the SmartKey on eBay and got the emergency key cut at a locksmith.
I've read through several of the threads on here but am still confused (per my OP). The threads imply you can program Smart Keys on Techstream, yet the eBay listing provided says they cannot (see post)

My understanding is that if you add a virgin key, its simpler. Where as if you add a used key, the immobilizer must be reset and you must re-program in any other existing keys you had linked on to the car.

Can Techstream do the latter? If so, what is the link to buy Techstream and its associated cable?
(the Techstream website shows subscriptions, not purchases)

Is there any specific post you can point me to that would help shed light on my situation?
(programming used RAV4 Smart Key with Techstream, no physical key)
 

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I see in that eBay listing where the seller says it will not program a Smartkey.

I don't know why, my older version definitely does. I can't imagine why Toyota would have removed that capability. I think the seller is mistaken.

If you are adding a used Smartkey, you likely will have to wipe out any other Smartkey already programmed in, and add them all back in.

I did not have to do that with my eBay Smartkey, although I'm pretty sure it was used. So, I would try adding in before doing the wipe.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So after some much more digging around, I can see that Techstream CAN program Smart Keys but there's a few catches.

1.) If you have a virgin Smart Key (i.e. not linked to another car), then Techstream should work OK

2.) If you have a used Smart Key (i.e. it belonged to another car), then Techstream could work, but won't without a dynamically generated passcode. The passcode is NOT static. The Techstream software will generate a 96-digit "SEED" code which you need to place into another program along with your VIN# to calculate the passcode. The Techstream software needs to be running the entire time without being closed as otherwise the SEED code changes (and hence so would the passcode).

The (relatively inexpensive) eBay keys referred to on these forums were largely physical keys with transponders inside, not Smart Keys. The eBay Smart Keys I'm seeing are all around $100 with shipping. I found one website selling a virgin key that I need for $110USD + $10 shipping. I'm in Canada so this would translate to approximately $150CDN. Add in the Techstream software and cable @ $30 and I'm at $180CDN, which is the price a locksmith quoted me (which would defeat the purpose of DIY in my situation)

I haven't given up yet. There is still benefit in having the Techstream software and cable to use for other things.

I'm trying to see if I can find cheaper used Smart Keys but the bigger obstacle is the passcode you need to obtain for programming used Smart Keys.

Any help?
 

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I don't know where you are getting your information from.

I've never seen Toyota require a passcode. Some other manufacturers do, but not a 2010 RAV4.

To program in a used Smartkey, you do an immobilizer reset, using the Techstream package. Then, program in all the Smartkeys you have. If you get a new Smartkey, the reset should not be necessary.

You must, of course, have the correct Smartkey. My 2012 uses HYQ14AEM, I believe 2010 is the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't know where you are getting your information from.

I've never seen Toyota require a passcode. Some other manufacturers do, but not a 2010 RAV4.

To program in a used Smartkey, you do an immobilizer reset, using the Techstream package. Then, program in all the Smartkeys you have. If you get a new Smartkey, the reset should not be necessary.

You must, of course, have the correct Smartkey. My 2012 uses HYQ14AEM, I believe 2010 is the same.
Here's the post regarding the Techstream passcode function.

...and an indirect Youtube video regarding the same issue.


From the Youtube comments alone, you can see a comment by BoulderHybrids:

"If the key you were trying to add was used (i.e. previously programmed to another car) you need to do a seed reset which is way more complicated and requires a calculated passcode. Before you start check that the FOBs have the same FCC ID written on the back. If not the same FCC ID it probably won't work. Also check the FOB battery is good (small LED should light when you press any button)..."

I attached a copy of instructions regarding the passcode function as well.
(based on on of the first Youtube comments)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here's another post I found useful (by "carchitect"):

"Already registered keys will not re-register to another vehicle. Registered keys will not work on another vehicle. The keys must also have a match for the communication protocal used. FCC ID numbers only dictate the wireless frequency used but not what is being communicated. Both Lexus and Toyota use the same keys but three different circuit boards on the keys. The Lexus wallet key can also be used on the Toyota vehicles as long as the key boards for each one match. My 08 IS350 key board uses a number 0140 My 2012 Highlander also uses 0140 so the smart wallet key card for the IS350 will also work on my Highlander. 09+ IS models use 3390 and 2010+ RX uses 5290. The keys are different. The 0140 and 3390 keys use the same FCC ID but will not interchange.

If you loose all keys, Toyota or Lexus dealers can reset your smart key ecu (this is called reseed) where the ecu is born again virgin and has no keys married to it. Reset reseed is done with Toyota/Lexus logging the information. An RO has to be generated to make this happen. This doesn't happen for free. New or used keys can be registered only at this time. The key has to have the same protocal to be reused or it will not work.

Immobilizer only vehicles (non-smart keys) are no big deal. Immobilizer is done different from wireless door lock registration. "
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm not trying to post back-to-back but I wanted to add that there is one suspicion I have.

Based on the above, the reset function used is if there is NO KEY to start the car (assumes all keys are lost). The poster claims that this is the only time a pre-programmed Smart Key can be re-programmed to another car.

That statement seems odd to me, but I have read it under a few other posts before (albeit, titled differently, such as "Immobilizer Reset"). Why would that be the only time that you could re-program a used key? I'm not seeing the value, which is why I'm questioning it. It seems like an unnecessary hoop to jump through but maybe I'm missing something.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@normkol

Since you were helping me earlier, I just wanted to let you know I made a longer post in the "stickied" thread. Funny enough, when I went back to dig up all the old posts, I found it was one of yours that mentioned the passcode! :shock:

I don't know where you are getting your information from.

I've never seen Toyota require a passcode. Some other manufacturers do, but not a 2010 RAV4.

To program in a used Smartkey, you do an immobilizer reset, using the Techstream package. Then, program in all the Smartkeys you have. If you get a new Smartkey, the reset should not be necessary.

You must, of course, have the correct Smartkey. My 2012 uses HYQ14AEM, I believe 2010 is the same.
Ok, I hooked up the Techstream today and took a look.

...

One of the options then will be Smartkey reset. In the description given at the bottom when you click on this option, it says you will need a password. I don't know anything about that, since I never used it...
What have you done with normkol! What kind of sick individual murders a forum poster, assumes their identity, and then tries to help other people with their RAV4s!?!

:laugh

For what its worth, my keys are FCC-ID is HYQ14AAB and IC is 1551A-14AAB
 

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This is the real normkol, I got rid of the imposter. >:D

I totally forgot that other post, it's from 2013. Like I said there, I've never done an immobilizer reset, so I haven't seen those screens.

I was checking on a locksmith forum where they discussed programming Toyota's and no one mentioned this reset code. But, they use dedicated programming machines, not Techstream. So, it might function differently.

If you lose all keys to a vehicle, they do an ECU flash, which then prepares the ECU to accept new keys. This is different than the immobilizer reset, for which you must have at least one working key.

And, yes, the locksmiths do discuss the circuit board number, it must match the other smartkey or you could have problems. The FCC number only refersto the remote portion of the Smartkey, not the immobilizer function.

I don't know if this clears things up for you. As you said yourself, the locksmith quoted you a price that was about equal to doing it yourself. Maybe you should just let him do it and save the headaches.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Thanks normkol.

While it would be the same price to DIY (if I can't find a cheaper key), my goal is to find a cheaper key :D:

Also, I know that getting the Techstream software (and cable) will be useful for me to diagnose any other issues with the RAV4 as well as any further customization (for example, our rear-view camera stopped working. We took it to the dealer to diagnose during an oil change but they said that they couldn't figure out what was wrong. They asked for us to pay ~$85 just to diagnose what's wrong, without any guarantee that they would figure it out)

So on with the search, I have to agree with you that the Reset function requiring the passcode is to remove all keys and re-register them. Here is a Toyota Technical Service Bulletin document I found on the entire procedure. There's nothing new in it, but it does confirm what was previously mentioned. A quick excerpt from the "Introduction":

"The Immobilizer and Smart Key Reset is a feature that allows the registration of new keys when all master keys are lost. Once the system is reset, all previously registered keys will be erased. Follow the procedures in this bulletin to reset a vehicle Immobilizer or Smart Key system."

Its interesting to see how the function is performed internally, but I bring it up to highlight that its designed for when all keys are lost and presumably, when there is no key to even start the car. My suspicion could still be wrong (about being able to add a "used" key some other way) but I'll keep digging.

I found another document (in very poor English) that refers to Key Programming. Its hard to follow but I did note a peculiarity.

Under Page 7, it mentions that during the Key Programming stage using a Master Key, that once the Master Key is provided (first stage) to leave it outside of the car. Then when providing the second key (the key being registered) to leave that one on the passenger side of the car (inside the car). This is contrary to what the individual in the Youtube video did (see post), and could possibly explain the error (especially since the Techstream software doesn't mention it anywhere on the screen prompts), and again especially since they video author mentions he did the function again but wasn't sure what changed (i.e. he may have set the key aside this time).

I had another note to make, but I can't find the source (ATM). It has stated that in order to add keys, the car needed to have at least 2 to begin with. This could also explain why other users where having issues adding keys when they were only given 1 with their car.
(I could understand this as a security feature, where if the car was only intended to have 1 key, you would need to do a full reset and associate 2 or more)

I have to stress, this is all speculation on my part. I am not an expert and do not claim to be one, I'm simply trying to figure out as much as I can so that I can make an informed decision before I put money on the table.
 

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I can't offer much help other than to say, be careful. I accidentally washed one of my smart keys a few years ago, and in my attempt to self program a replacement key, I ended up immobilizing my '10 Limited.
I had purchased a used key (same FCC ID), and some POS programming unit from eBay. Bad idea. After immobilizing my Rav, I ended up finding a locksmith a few hours away who came to my house and fixed everything. He got the used key and my one remaining original key working again. He spent a long time on it.
As you said about your experience with the rear view camera failure, my local dealer was very uncertain that they could fix it without me buying all new ECU's and keys. Needless to say, I wanted to avoid the dealer like a plague.



In the end, I paid $300 for the used key and for the locksmith to reprogram and re-mobilize (opposite of immobilize?) my car. Still cheaper than the dealer was going to charge for a replacement key.

Good luck.
 
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